World’s First Stock Market in Kütahya

Today, the stock market, which determines the economic agenda with some terms such as bonds, stocks, foreign exchanges and valuable papers, actually dates back to very old times. The first stock market of the world was established in our land in Kütahya.

The first stock market was established in the second century AD in the Ancient Rome period and is located in the Çavdarhisar district only 58 km away from the city center of Kütahya. When the mosque which was built on the stock market collapsed because of the Gediz Earthquake in 1970, the remains under it were revealed. Thus, the traces of the first stock market in the history of the world were uncovered, and the ancient city of Aizanoi was revealed through detailed archaeological studies.

The first stock market of the world was established in our land in Kütahya. The first stock market was established in the second century AD in the Ancient Rome period and is located in the Çavdarhisar district only 58 km away from the city center of Kütahya. When the mosque which was built on the stock market collapsed because of the Gediz Earthquake in 1970, the remains under it were revealed. Thus, the traces of the first stock market in the history of the world were uncovered, and the ancient city of Aizanoi was revealed through detailed archaeological studies.

How was the first stock market established?

During times of economic troubles in the ancient Roman period, rulers took different measures. An extraordinary inflation appeared in the middle of 2nd century AD in the bazaars called Macellum where the prices of food products such as cereals, fish and meat were determined. Due to the inflation, high prices occurred, especially in food products. In order to avoid the price increase, the Roman Emperor of that period Diocletianus decided to proceed with various price fixings in order to fight inflation in 301 AD. The price of many goods and services was determined along with a fixed exchange rate application, which is still used today. Thus, the world’s first stock market Aizanoi emerged.

World's First Stock Market in Kütahya
Macellum where the prices of food products such as cereals, fish and meat were determined. Due to the inflation, high prices occurred, especially in food products.

The price list was overwritten on large stone blocks and hung on the walls of Macellum. The expectation was that the price list that hung on the stones would be followed and applied by both traders and the public. Interestingly, however, instead of applying this price list, the traders resorted to the method of storing the goods instead of selling them, which we call stockpiling today. Thus, the prices increased even more.

The price list included the following items: Leather goods, knitted goods, wooden goods, fabric, fruit, post, fur, gold, silk, baskets, shoes, slaves, medicines, wild and domestic animals, ropes, marble, spices, plants, teacher fees, shipping fees, porter fees. Cross pricing was also applied. One of the most interesting ones is “for 1 strong slave 2 donkeys, for 1 strong and young horse 3 slaves

World's First Stock Market in Kütahya
Photo: Hasan F. Özdoğan/Kültür Varlıkları ve Müzeler Genel Müdürlüğü

Second Ephesus: Aizonai

The ancient city of Aizanoi is located in the province of Çavdarhisar. The ancient city that emerged after the earthquake has been understood due to the studies that have been conducted. The ancient city where the world’s first stock market is located is also known as the second Ephesus. Among the remains of the ancient city discovered was the Temple of Zeus, which is the best-protected temple in Anatolia. The remains of the amphitheater that could accommodate 20,000 people and the stadium that could accommodate 13,500 people capture much attention.

World's First Stock Market in Kütahya
Aizonai, Kütahya

Aizanoi, which was established in the 2nd century AD, was converted into a citadel when it lost its feature of being the center of attraction since 7th century AD. Later on, in the 13th century, it served as the base for Çavdar Tatars, and the name of Çavdarhisar comes from this period. With the price tablets and the fees that appeared in the excavations after 1971, it especially became the apple of tourists’ eyes. The most striking discovery of the remains was the findings of marble blocks under Colonnaded Street.

How to get to Aizanoi Antique City?

You can reach the ancient city of Aizonai, which is only 2 kilometers away from Kütahya’s Çavdarhisar district, by following the Uşak-İzmir highway. Vehicles constantly travel to the Çavdarhisar district from the center of Kütahya. The visiting hours of the city are between 8.00 and 17.00 hours every day of the week.